Jammu Kashmir Politics Finds Current After Electricity Leased Out To Rajasthan

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has termed the administration’s move as “collective punishment” for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.


PAGD meeting

The political atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir has heated-up amidst ongoing winter with the political parties urging Union Territory’s administration to “clear air” over leasing out the electricity from Rattle Hydroelectricity Power Project Kishtwar to Rajasthan.

The political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are seeking answers from administration over need to lease out electricity to other state, when it is claiming to purchase the same (electricity) from outside over whooping cost to meet its requirement.  

What is the issue?

The row has erupted after Ratle Hydro Power Corp entered into an agreement with Rajasthan Urja Vikas and IT Services Ltd to supply electricity from its 850 MW power plant in Kishtwar district recently. 


The Ratle Hydro Electric Power Corporation Ltd (RHPCL) is a joint venture company of state-owned NHPC Ltd and Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC).


The agreement has been signed for off-take of power for 40 years from the commercial operation date of the project and as per power allocation to be notified by the Ministry of Power.

RHPCL has entered into Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Rajasthan Urja Vikas and IT Services Ltd, for offtake of power generated from 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric 
Project in Kishtwar.

Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir raise questions:

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has termed the administration’s move as “collective punishment” for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.


PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said the decision has come at a time when the UT is facing grappling with electricity crisis, which as per her was never witnessed before in Jammu and Kashmir.

“At a time when J&K is facing a severe power crisis never witnessed before our hydro electric resources are being outsourced to other states. Yet another decision that will rob people of basic amenities with an intention to collectively punish inhabitants of J&K,” she said.

The region’s grand old political party National Conference also demanded the administration “should clear the air” on its electricity pact with Rajasthan. 

“Normally Power Purchase Agreements usually last for a maximum of 20 years. However in this case they are signing it for 40 years at a pre negotiated price which is also unknown,” NC said.

NC said the move has generated a feeling among the masses in Jammu and Kashmir that its resources are being “battered” away. 

“There has been a feeling of betrayal amongst the people of J&K that their resources are being bartered away. The fresh agreement for offtake of electricity for a period of 40 years from the Commercial Operation by Rajasthan Urja Vikas & IT services has further added to the looming skepticism,” the party said.


It also urged the administration to “bring out a white paper on the agreement informing people about its underlying purpose and what benefits will J&K reap from it.”

The party’s spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar in a statement said the “agreement has stirred the hornet's nest as the terms and conditions on the face of it are seemingly to the disadvantage of J&K.”

“For electricity starved people of J&K, is this agreement a solution? It's a question that the government has to answer. It makes no sense that at a time when J&K is grappling with electricity crisis, the government is selling out electricity to other states,” Dar said.


Former Jammu and Kashmir minister Altaf Bukhari, who floated his political venture post 5 August 2019—the day J&K was stripped of its special status and subsequent bifurcation into two UT’s has also sought answers from the administration.
Bukhari said the administration should come clear on its move. 

“At a time when the entire Jammu and Kashmir is facing an acute electricity crisis, especially in its rural areas, the reported leasing out of electricity from Rattle Power Project Kishtwar to Rajasthan is quite puzzling.”

He added: “The J&K administration has off and on came on record claiming that it has been buying the power supply from other states to meet the demands in the Union Territory, while at the same time leasing out its own supply to another state is beyond comprehension. Urge the J&K admin to come clear on the facts,” he said